How Long Do Ford Escape Hybrids Last? (12 Important Facts)

The Ford Escape Hybrid has the distinction of being the first-ever SUV hybrid when it made its debut in 2005. 

The Escape itself has had four generations, but the hybrid option was dropped for the third generation. It’s recently made a comeback in 2020 and has received impressive reviews.

In this article we’ll take a closer look at the average lifespan of the Ford Escape Hybrid.

Here is the short answer to how long the Ford Escape Hybrid lasts:

The Ford Escape Hybrid is a durable vehicle that can last 200,000 – 300,000 miles with responsible use and maintenance. Based on driving 15,000 per year you can expect 13 – 20 years of service from your Escape Hybrid before repair costs become uneconomical.

How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Ford Escape Hybrid?

The Ford Escape Hybrid has been around for some time now so there’s plenty of industry data about to assess its longevity.

The oldest ones are about 20 years old at this point and many of them have logged hundreds of thousands of miles.

The Escape Hybrid is a popular choice in taxi fleets too and it’s not unusual for these vehicles to reach 300,000 miles, we even encountered odometer readings close to half a million miles – which just goes to show how robust these SUVs really are.

On average, most Escape Hybrids should have no trouble lasting 200,000 – 300,000 miles before requiring any major repairs. Should a high ticket item, like the engine or transmission, require replacing at such high mileage then the repair costs may well outweigh the value of the vehicle.

All Ford hybrids come with an 8-year/100,000-mile hybrid powertrain warranty, in some states, this can go as high as 150,000 miles. In case of any premature failures, the warranty has you covered.

After 150,000 miles or roughly 10 years, the hybrid battery will likely show signs of degradation – but this is normal for all hybrid batteries. It might affect your fuel economy a bit, but the vehicle should still be driveable. 

If you ever need to replace the high voltage battery outside the warranty period, there are lots of aftermarket replacements available that will cost much less than what a dealership will charge.

Keep in mind the longevity of the Escape Hybrid is ultimately down to the owner.

With Hybrid vehicles, it is imperative that the service schedule is followed to ensure things run smoothly and to get the most life from it.

The gas engine and electric motor work together in unison, if one isn’t working as it should it can significantly impact the other, this is why staying up to date with maintenance is crucial.

Driving habits will also play a key role, sure the Escape is designed to venture off-road but being aggressive with the gas and brake pedals can be tough on any vehicle and will cause parts to wear out much sooner.

Common Problems of the Ford Escape Hybrid

The current generation of the Ford Escape Hybrid is still quite new and there aren’t any widespread issues associated with it yet. 

Any manufacturing defects and build quality issues that owners may encounter are still going to be addressed by the dealership.

However, most first and second gen Escape Hybrids have already logged enough miles for their weaknesses to start showing up. 

Here’s a quick rundown of the most common issues that have plagued older generations of the Escape Hybrid.

Brake Failure

According to CarProblemZoo, brake issues are the most reported problem for older Escape Hybrids. 

Many owners of higher mileage Escape Hybrids have reported suddenly experiencing brake failures and ‘Service Brake System’ or ‘ABS’ warnings on the dash.

There could be many reasons for these brake issues and troubleshooting it can be difficult unless you go to someone who is very familiar with the platform.

Common fixes usually involve replacing either the brake vacuum pump, the brake master cylinder, or the ABS module/HCU (Hydraulic Control Unit).

Power Steering

Another common problem with the Escape Hybrid is the power steering.

Many owners have reported that they’ll suddenly lose power steering and the steering wheel becomes very hard to turn. 

Some people remedy the issue by simply restarting the vehicle.

But for those needing a more permanent fix, it could be caused by either a faulty sensor or power steering module, or even a bad power steering motor which might require a new steering rack.

Engine Failure and Cooling Issues 

Some Escape Hybrid owners have reported suddenly losing power while driving and getting a warning on their dash to ‘Stop Safely Now’. 

Pulling over and restarting the vehicle can temporarily solve the issue and will let you drive it in ‘limp’ mode. 

Although the sudden loss of acceleration/power could be traced back to an engine failure, it’s often solved by replacing a faulty cooling pump and/or the hybrid battery cooling fans that are causing the engine’s electronics or the battery to overheat.

The blend door actuator in the first gen Escape Hybrids is also a common failure point. Another possible cause of these drive issues is a faulty throttle body.

What is High Mileage for a Ford Escape Hybrid?

Any Ford Escape Hybrid with over 100,000 miles is a high mileage vehicle.

Although the Escape Hybrid is highly capable of covering another 100,000 miles and then some, it will likely have more unexpected maintenance issues once the odometer hits six digits.

The engine and hybrid powertrain should still be very reliable, but lots of other things might start giving you issues after 100,000 miles.

If you’re looking at first or second-gen Escape Hybrids, keep in mind that these vehicles are at least 10 years old at this point.

Even if the one you’re looking at has less than 100,000 miles, a lot of parts and systems can still start breaking simply due to age and degradation.

Batteries degrade over time, so you might be looking at a new hybrid battery replacement if you’re considering a hybrid that’s more than 10 years old, so be sure to factor that into your budget.

When buying a used Ford Escape Hybrid, you’ll want to consider the following:

  1. Check that the car was properly serviced and the owner can provide evidence of this.
  2. Be wary of abnormally low-priced Escapes – it usually means there is damage or significant defects.
  3. Have the car inspected by a mechanic who understands hybrids.
  4. As a general rule, less previous owners is better. More owners usually means more wear-and-tear. A one-owner car that’s been regularly serviced on time is less likely to have issues and nasty surprises.
  5. The condition of the interior tells the story of how well the car was maintained and cared for.
  6. Mileage relative to vehicles age: A car that has done alot more, or a lot less than 15,000 miles per year on average is a red flag.

How Long Does the Ford Escape Hybrid Last Compared to Other Hybrid SUVs?

In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the Escape’s competition in the hybrid SUV segment and see how they compare in terms of reliability and lifespan.

Ford Escape Hybrid vs. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

The RAV4 Hybrid is the hottest selling compact hybrid SUV these days.

It was first introduced in 2016 and just recently released its second generation.

Toyota is the global leader in hybrid vehicle sales and development, so we expect the RAV4 Hybrid to be extremely reliable.

The RAV4 Hybrid should be able to last 300,000 – 500,000 miles or 20+ years with proper care and maintenance which is a bit higher than the expected lifespan of the Escape Hybrid.

  • RepairPal gave the Toyota RAV4 and the Ford Escape similar reliability ratings of 4/5.
  • Average annual repair costs for the RAV4 is cheaper at only $429 per year vs $600 for the Escape.
  • Kelley Blue Book’s consumer rating index gave the RAV4 Hybrid a reliability rating of 3.7/5 which is much lower than the Ford Escape’s 4.5/5
  • Edmunds consumer reviews gave the 2022 RAV4 a slightly higher overall rating of 4.4/5 compared to the 2022 Escape’s 4.3/5.
  • JD Power gave the 2020 RAV4 a 74/100 for Quality & Reliability while the Escape got 72/100 in the same year.

Although Toyota is known for its excellent build quality and reliability, The Escape Hybrid is not far behind when it comes to owner ratings and maintenance costs.

Note: The RAV4 far outsells the Escape Hybrid by a large margin, so there are lots more negative reviews for the RAV4 which pulls down its average rating -unhappy customers are more motivated to write a negative review.

The first gen Escape Hybrid was actually developed with the help of Toyota engineers, giving Ford some insight into building a reliable hybrid.

The Escape Hybrid will have lower resale value, but this is a good thing if you’re looking at used vehicles.

A 10 to 15-year-old Toyota will still hold up better than a similarly aged Ford Escape. But aside from the minor annoyances, you might expect from a 10-year-old Ford, the Escape’s engine and hybrid powertrain should still be pretty solid.

Related: How Long Do Toyota RAV4 Hybrids Last?

Ford Escape Hybrid vs. Hyundai Tucson Hybrid

The Tucson Hybrid is a new model for 2022 from South Korean automakers Hyundai.

The company has some experience with building hybrids starting with the Sonata Hybrid in 2010 and so the Tucson Hybrid should be fairly capable of going toe-to-toe with the Escape Hybrid.

The Tucson Hybrid will likely last just as long as the Escape Hybrid at 200,000 – 300,000 miles or 13- 20 years.

  • RepairPal gave the Hyundai Tucson and Escape Hybrid the same rating of 4/5 stars for reliability.
  • The Tucson is cheaper to maintain with its average annual repair cost of $426 vs the Escape’s $600.
  • Kelley Blue Book’s consumer rating index gave the Tucson Hybrid a reliability rating of 4.6/5 which is just a bit higher than the Escape’s 4.5/5
  • Edmunds consumer reviews gave the 2022 Tucson an overall rating of 4/5 which is significantly lower than the Escape’s current rating of 5/5.
  • JD Power gave the 2022 Tucson an impressive 88/100 for Quality & Reliability while the 2020 Escape only got 72/100.

The Tucson has a much longer warranty when bought new. But Hyundai also had a large recall for many of its engines made in the last 10 years due to the possibility of severe engine failure. So there’s no telling how well their other engines might hold up a couple of years from now.

It’s pretty much a toss-up between these two hybrid SUVs.

The final decision will depend on which one you like the most and which brand you trust.

Ford Escape Hybrid vs. Honda CR-V Hybrid

The wildly popular CR-V only started offering a hybrid variant in North America in 2020. 

Honda is known for its excellent build quality so the CR-V Hybrid should be an extremely reliable vehicle overall.

We expect the average CR-V to easily last 250,000 – 350,000 miles or 17 – 23 years which is slightly higher than the Escape’s lifespan.

  • RepairPal gave the Honda CR-V a 4.5/5 for reliability while the Escape is not far behind at 4/5 stars.
  • The CR-V is cheaper to maintain with its average annual repair cost of $407 vs the Escape’s $600.
  • Kelley Blue Book’s consumer rating index gave the CR-V Hybrid a reliability rating of 4.4/5 which is just slightly lower than the Ford Escape’s 4.5/5
  • Edmunds consumer reviews gave the 2022 CR-V Hybrid an overall rating of 4.4/5 which is significantly lower than the Escape’s current rating of 5/5.
  • JD Power gave the 2022 CR-V an 84/100 for Quality & Reliability while the 2020 Escape only got 72/100.

Though the Honda CR-V has a better reputation for overall reliability, the Ford Escape Hybrid is not that far behind. 

But the CR-V Hybrid will likely have fewer issues as it gets older compared to the Escape Hybrid.

Their powertrains and hybrid systems should be equally robust though, and it’s really a matter of preference and budget between these two.

Related: How Long Do Honda CR-V Hybrids Last?

Comparison Chart

Escape HybridRAV 4 HybridTucson HybridCR-V Hybrid
RepairPal Reliability Rating*4/54/54/54.5/5
RepairPal Annual Repair Average*$600$429$426$407
KBB Reliability4.53.74.64.4
Edmunds*5/54.4/54/54.4/5
JD Power*72/10074/10088/10084/100
Expected Lifespan (miles)200k – 300k300k – 500k200k – 300k250k – 350k
Expected Lifespan (years)13+20+13+17+

* Ratings for entire model range (not specific to hybrid models)

Is the Ford Escape Hybrid Reliable?

The Ford Escape Hybrid is no stranger to high mileages and it’s built up a solid reputation for reliability.

It’s been thoroughly tested in taxi fleets where many examples have lasted 10 or more years without needing any major repairs. And there are still quite a few first and second gen Escape Hybrids on the road today

It’s also worth noting that none of the past three generations of the Escape Hybrid have had too many major issues that would leave you stranded on the road. 

Here is additional proof of the Ford Escape Hybrid’s reliability:

  • RepairPal gave the Ford Escape an average reliability rating of 4/5 which is the same score it gave to the RAV4.  
  • Owner reviews for newer Escape Hybrids are quite favorable and are often equal to or at least not that far behind its more popular competitors.

Reliability Compared to Other SUVs

Source: Repair Pal

ModelReliability 
Subaru Crosstrek4.5 / 5.0
Honda CR-V4.5 / 5.0
Toyota RAV44.0 / 5.0
Nissan Rogue Select4.0 / 5.0
Hyundai Tucson4.0 / 5.0
Kia Sportage4.0 / 5.0
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport4.0 / 5.0
Mitsubishi Outlander4.0 / 5.0
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross4.0 / 5.0
Jeep Cherokee4.0 / 5.0
Mazda Tribute4.0 / 5.0
Jeep Compass4.0 / 5.0
Kia Sorento4.0 / 5.0
Nissan Rogue4.0 / 5.0
Honda Element4.0 / 5.0
Jeep Patriot4.0 / 5.0
Ford Escape4.0 / 5.0
Subaru XV Crosstrek4.0 / 5.0
Nissan Xterra4.0 / 5.0
Chevrolet Captiva3.5 / 5.0
Nissan Murano3.5 / 5.0
Subaru Forester3.5 / 5.0
GMC Terrain3.5 / 5.0
Chevrolet Equinox3.5 / 5.0
Fiat 500L3.5 / 5.0
Jeep Wrangler3.5 / 5.0
Volkswagen Tiguan3.0 / 5.0
Avg. Compact SUV4.0

* Ratings for entire model range (not specific to hybrid models)

The Best and Worst Years of the Ford Escape Hybrid

The Ford Escape Hybrid has had three generations since it was first sold in 2005. 

In this section, we’ll take a look at which model years to stay away from and which ones are safe choices.

Worst Model Year

According to CarComplaints and CarProblemZoo, the 2008 Fusion Escape Hybrid is the worst model year.

We say this because it’s had the most number of complaints logged on both websites. But it’s also the first year of the second generation model, so it’s more likely to have early build quality issues. 

We’ve already discussed some of the most common problems for the 2008 Escape Hybrid in a previous section.

Best Model Year

The 2021 Escape Hybrid is what we would consider as the best model year.

It’s not had any reported issues so far and it has lots of upgraded features compared to the first year of the third gen Escape Hybrid.

The Titanium Plug-in Hybrid trim is the top-of-the-line model and it even comes with an optional 19-inch wheel package.

As far as the older generations, the 2012 Escape Hybrid is also a good choice.

It’s the last year model of the second gen Escape so it’s the youngest of the bunch, and it has far fewer reported issues compared to much older model years.

Model Year and Number of Complaints

Here is the total number of complaints for every model year of the Escape Hybrid as reported on the CarProblemZoo website.

Model YearNo. of Complaints
20201
201310
201220
201143
201065
2009176
2008569
2007172
2006341
2005236

What About Recalls for the Escape Hybrid?

The Ford Fusion Hybrid has had a total of 28 recalls in total for all its generations.

You can always check if your Ford Escape Hybrid has been subjected to a recall campaign by entering your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) on the Ford recall site or the NHTSA recall database.

Recalls are manufacturing faults repaired at no charge to the consumer.

Here is the total number of recalls for every model year of the Ford Escape Hybrid based on the NHTSA’s records:

  • 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid: 1
  • 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid: 0
  • 2013 Ford Escape Hybrid: 0
  • 2012 Ford Escape Hybrid: 0
  • 2011 Ford Escape Hybrid: 0
  • 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid: 5
  • 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid: 1
  • 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid: 6
  • 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid: 4
  • 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid: 6
  • 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid: 5

Ford Escape Hybrid Model Year List

The Ford Escape Hybrid has had three generations since it was first introduced in 2005.

The hybrid variant was dropped for the North American release of the third gen Escape, but it returned for the fourth gen Escape.

First Generation (2005 – 2007):

  • 2005 Ford Fusion Hybrid 
  • 2006 Ford Fusion Hybrid 
  • 2007 Ford Fusion Hybrid

Second Generation (2008 – 2012):

  • 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid 
  • 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid 
  • 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid 
  • 2011 Ford Escape Hybrid 
  • 2012 Ford Escape Hybrid 

Third Generation (2020 – present):

  • 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid 
  • 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid 
  • 2022 Ford Escape Hybrid 

Is the Ford Escape Hybrid Expensive to Maintain?

The Ford Escape Hybrid is relatively cheap to maintain and it usually doesn’t need anything more than regular maintenance. Average repair costs for the Escape are higher when compared to its Japanese and Korean counterparts, but is still reasonable at only $600 per year. 

Early model years of each generation tend to have the most problems. But if you avoid those, the Escape Hybrid offers a lot of bang for your buck.

ModelAvg. Annual Repair CostFrequency of
Unscheduled Repairs (per year)
Probability of
Severe Repairs
Subaru Crosstrek$4920.17%
Honda CR-V$4070.39%
Toyota RAV4$4290.310%
Nissan Rogue Select$4360.310%
Hyundai Tucson$4260.310%
Kia Sportage$4620.211%
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport$4980.310%
Mitsubishi Outlander$5190.311%
Jeep Cherokee$4200.212%
Mazda Tribute$5230.311%
Jeep Compass$5260.311%
Kia Sorento$5330.311%
Nissan Rogue$4670.312%
Honda Element$4910.610%
Jeep Patriot$5960.312%
Ford Escape$6000.311%
Subaru XV Crosstrek$6310.411%
Nissan Xterra$5140.314%
Chevrolet Captiva$5850.313%
Nissan Murano$5070.514%
Subaru Forester$6320.413%
GMC Terrain$5580.317%
Chevrolet Equinox$5370.318%
Fiat 500L$6400.217%
Jeep Wrangler$6940.316%
Volkswagen Tiguan$7300.912%
Avg. Compact SUV$5210.311%

How Long Do the Brakes Last?

You should easily get over 100,000 miles out of the Escape Hybrid’s factory brakes. Its regenerative braking helps slow down the vehicle and charges the battery at the same time, so the brakes don’t need to be used as much.

In normal driving conditions, they can easily last over 5 years before they start causing problems like grinding.

  • Like in most other vehicles, the Escape Hybrid’s front brake pads will likely give out first before the rears.
  • The brake rotors could also get rusted out relatively quickly especially if you live in a rust-prone region. Some cars might need new brake rotors well before 100,000 miles.

How Long Do the Tires Last?

The Escape Hybrid’s tires should be able to last around 50,000 to 70,000 miles or roughly 3 to 5 years with normal use. They can wear out much sooner depending on road conditions, driving habits, climate and maintenance.

3 tips to get the most life from your tires:

  • Rotate your tires every 5,000 miles to ensure even wear.
  • Check your tire pressure every few weeks to make sure they’re at the correct tire pressure.
  • Check your wheel alignment every 6 months.

How Long Do the Transmissions Last?

The Escape Hybrid uses an eCVT or Electric Continuously Variable Transmission which can last well over 500,000 miles and will likely outlast the vehicle.

It’s free from any problems associated with the transmissions in the non-hybrid Escapes. It’s also much more robust than regular CVTs you can find in lots of other vehicles.

How Long Will the Escape Hybrid’s Electric Motors Last?

The Escape Hybrid’s electric motors should be able to last the entire lifetime of the vehicle. 

Electric motors need less maintenance and are more reliable than internal combustion engines.

You’re more likely to need a major engine repair or several hybrid battery replacements before the motors start acting up due to age.

How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?

The Ford Escape Hybrid needs new spark plugs only every 100,000 miles which is part of its major service interval.

You may need new spark plugs sooner if they look too worn out or fouled up during the car’s regular inspection.

Related: How Long Do Ford Explorer Hybrids Last?

How Long Do Ford Fusion Hybrid Batteries Last?

The Escape Hybrid’s high voltage battery should last at least 100,000 miles although it could last over 200,000 miles. 

Premature hybrid battery failures are not common for the Escape Hybrid – in the event this does happen, it can be addressed via warranty.

Older generation Escape Hybrids used NiMH batteries while the latest generation uses the more modern Lithium-ion battery technology.

After 10 years, all batteries will start showing signs of degradation.

You might see worse mileage compared to when it was newer, but it can still be driven around as long as the engine is fine.

Aftermarket battery replacements are also not that expensive and widely available.

What About Insurance Costs?

According to Insuraviz’s estimates, the Ford Fusion costs an average of $1,490 per year or roughly $124 per month to insure.

The top-of-the-line Titanium Plug-in Hybrid is the most expensive to insure at $1,628 per year.

Insurance costs can vary from person to person, so be sure to shop around to find the best possible deal for your Escape Hybrid.

Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Ford Escape Hybrid

  • Practice smooth and safe driving habits.
  • Keep up to date with factory-recommended maintenance.
  • Use quality parts and fluids.
  • Keep on top of repairs to prevent them from developing into larger problems.
  • Regularly wash your Escape to remove dirt and grime, as well as to protect the paint and undercarriage from rust.
  • Keep your Escape Hybrid stored in a garage to help protect it from extreme heat and cold.
  • Read the owner’s manual to learn the location of important components, what your SUV needs and in what quantities, and to understand the symbols and dashboard warning lights.

Sources

https://www.caranddriver.com/ford/escape-2021

https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1085577_2008-ford-escape-hybrid-500k-miles-still-in-patrol-service

https://www.carproblemzoo.com/ford/escapehybrid/

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-25-bestselling-suvs-11643404947

https://www.kbb.com/ford/escape/2022/se-hybrid/

https://www.edmunds.com/ford/escape/

https://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/10/business/ford-to-use-toyota-s-hybrid-technology.html

https://www.carcomplaints.com/Ford/Escape_Hybrid/